Thursday, December 28, 2006

Lobster: Great Food, Bad Friend


okay, okay... I'll get to the point fast here, I don't want to offend a slew of diners by 'dissing' one of our favorite delicacies. Delicious as it may be in the literal sense, when we use lobster figuratively to describe social behaviour, it's a bad thing.
Now I haven't tried it (too cruel for me) but it is well documented that if placed in room temperature water and brought to a gradual boil... lobsters kill each other. That is to say, if one lobster attempts to claw their way out of the pot, the others will drag it back down. How does this apply to social behavior? Very simple, and very hard to change.
Think of your friends you grew up with during your junior high/ middle school and high school years. How many of them are you still friends with? I consider myself abnormally lucky because I can answer several. Most people have very few friends left over from this period of their lives, and some are at a loss as to why. Many people have even lost touch with their maid of honor or their best man. Granted, going off to college, taking a job in another city, province or state, or having children will all speed this process up and make it difficult to remain friends. So why do so many people lose touch even if their lives keep them in close proximity and similar life stages? Enter the 'lobster friend' analogy. When I went to school, or started my own business and took clients or booked meetings on a saturday, I got the following responses from friends...
"why aren't you drinking more?"
"oooh, look at mr. important, he's soooo cool!"
"you've changed, you're no fun anymore"

When we are young, let's say we are a small fraction of the great human being we are capable of and hopefully destined to become. Say we are a 4 out of 10. 8s don't hang out with 4s. 4s hang with 4s. So when you take a course, make sacrifices, work hard, and take any step to become a 5,6,7, etc the 4s get left behind. They have a choice to improve themselves, or question and criticize your behaviour to try to keep you at a 4 out of 10.

If your business is generating 40% of the profits you know it can, you will do everything to get closer to 100%, and you can easily dismiss people who stand in your way or question your heart or committment to your cause. Why should our personal lives be any different? They're not.
If you want to become a 8, 9, or 10 out of 10... surround yourself with those kind of people. The kind of people that respect your wishes to improve, and will support you in your journey to get there. You can also quickly become a 7,8,9, etc by doing what you can to educate your friends on how to move themselves forward, and support them in their journey. Those firends of yours that accept the challenge to improve will remain friends. In fact, the relationships will improve. Those who resist any and all attempts to become better people because they are 'comfortable' with where they are, need to be dropped from your circle of friends.

This may sound harsh, but like begets like. Hang with a 10, become a 10 or they will drop you. You don't always have to like the right answer, but ask for as many second opinions as you want, the truth will surface and then it is just a question of how long it takes you to acheive your goals and improve your life. There is no time like the present to affect positive change.

In fact, here is one clear cut case of where the grass truly is greener on the other side. Care to see for yourself? Swim upstream... become a 10, and then pass it on!

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